Upcoming Changes to the EN352 Hearing Protection Standard: What to Expect in July 2024

Understanding the New EN352 Hearing Protection Standard: What You Need to Know for July 2024

The world of occupational safety and health is set to undergo a significant update with the introduction of the new EN352 hearing protection standard, effective from July 2024. This update aims to address the evolving needs of workers in noisy environments, ensuring enhanced protection and safety. Let's delve into the key aspects of this new standard and what it means for employers, workers, and manufacturers.

What is the EN352 Standard?

The EN352 standard encompasses a series of regulations that specify requirements for hearing protectors used in occupational settings. These protectors include earplugs, earmuffs, and communication headsets. The goal is to reduce the risk of hearing loss caused by exposure to hazardous noise levels.

Key Changes in the New EN352 Standard

  1. Enhanced Noise Reduction Requirements:
    • The new standard sets stricter criteria for the noise reduction rating (NRR) of hearing protection devices. This ensures that workers receive optimal protection in high-noise environments.
  2. Improved Fit and Comfort:
    • Recognizing that uncomfortable hearing protection often leads to non-compliance, the new EN352 standard includes specific guidelines for the ergonomic design of hearing protectors. This will help in improving the fit and comfort, encouraging more consistent use.
  3. Communication and Situational Awareness:
    • One of the notable updates is the inclusion of requirements for devices that need to allow communication while providing hearing protection. This is crucial for environments where communication is essential for safety, such as in construction sites or emergency response scenarios.
  4. Performance Testing and Certification:
    • The standard introduces more rigorous testing protocols for performance and durability. Manufacturers will need to comply with these enhanced testing requirements to receive certification, ensuring that only high-quality products reach the market.
  5. Compatibility with Other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
    • The new EN352 standard addresses the need for hearing protection to be compatible with other PPE, such as helmets and eyewear. This integrated approach ensures comprehensive protection without compromising comfort or safety.

Implications for Employers

Employers have a legal and moral obligation to provide a safe working environment. With the new EN352 standard, employers must:

  • Update Hearing Protection Programs: Review and update existing hearing protection programs to align with the new standard.
  • Train Employees: Provide training to ensure employees understand the importance of using the updated hearing protection devices and how to use them correctly.
  • Conduct Noise Assessments: Regularly conduct noise assessments to identify areas where the new standards need to be implemented.
  • Monitor Compliance: Ensure ongoing compliance through regular monitoring and maintenance of hearing protection equipment.

Implications for Workers

For workers, the new EN352 standard promises better protection and comfort. Key takeaways include:

  • Enhanced Safety: With improved noise reduction and comfort, workers can look forward to better protection against hearing loss.
  • Better Communication: Enhanced devices that allow communication will make it easier to stay connected in noisy environments without compromising safety.
  • Increased Compliance: More comfortable and ergonomically designed hearing protectors will likely lead to higher compliance rates, ensuring continuous protection.

Implications for Manufacturers

Manufacturers of hearing protection devices must prepare to meet the new requirements by:

  • Revamping Product Lines: Update and redesign existing products to comply with the new noise reduction and ergonomic requirements.
  • Undergoing Rigorous Testing: Ensure that all products undergo the new, more stringent performance and durability tests.
  • Ensuring Compatibility: Design products that are compatible with other PPE to offer comprehensive protection solutions.


The new EN352 hearing protection standard marks a significant advancement in occupational health and safety. By addressing the needs for better noise reduction, comfort, communication, and compatibility, it sets a higher benchmark for hearing protection. As we approach July 2024, it is crucial for employers, workers, and manufacturers to understand and prepare for these changes to ensure a safer and healthier work environment.

Stay informed, stay prepared, and embrace the new standard to protect your hearing health and overall well-being.

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